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Throwing away the constitution in Poland?


mafketis 20 | 7,341
3 Dec 2015  #1
Why is there not more discussion on recent events? The PiS government has been making a steady attack on the rule of law by trying to pack the Constitutional Court (Trybunał Konstytucyjny) with PiS supporters by highly irregular means.

Why are they doing this? Are they simply trying to remove any obstacle to ruling by decree?

How can what they're doing be justified by supporters beyond "the end justifies the means"? (we all know where that leads)

Mods: Please don't attach this to some other unrelated thread. This is a separate issue that needs its own thread.
Polsyr 6 | 769
3 Dec 2015  #2
Are they simply trying to remove any obstacle to ruling by decree?

Exactly. They are paving the way for a 21st century dictatorship right here in Central Europe, ruled by a combination of xenophobia, religious extremism and plain old ignorance.

Why is there not more discussion

Nobody opened this subject because as soon as you do, you will be attacked by a bunch of 18 years olds from Chicago, and they will insult you, and accuse you of being a leftist liberal that's trying to enforce some foreign LGTB communist agenda against "God fearing" people, and the mods of this forum probably won't do anything about it.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #3
PiS government

The PO birdbrains and their hayseed sidekicks back in June saw the writing on the wall - that PiS would win the election, so to ensure themselves of the abiltiy to stymie PiS legislation they appoitned 5 Tribunal judges -- 3 of them legally, 2 illegally. They thought nobody would notice the fast one they were trying to pull, but they were easily seen through and President Duda declined to swear in all 5. The present government passed a bill appointing five new judges, 4 of whom have been sworn in. The 5th will be sworn in within a few days when her predecessor's term in office expires. Each side is accusing the other of undermining the constitution but both sides share part of the blame.

But the constitutional crisis is but a pretext. It could have been about speed radar traps or test-tube babies. The bottom line is that the losers are totally committed to continuing the wasteful and debilitaitng Polish-Polish War they launched in 2005 rather than working for the good of the nation. The sooner PO disappear from the political stage -- the better!
OP mafketis 20 | 7,341
3 Dec 2015  #4
Nobody opened this subject because as soon as you do, you will be attacked by a bunch of 18 years olds from Chicago

Bring it on, I can take care of myself.

they appointed 5 Tribunal judges -- 3 of them legally, 2 illegally

Explain how two were appointed illegally and why the three that even you admit were appointed legally were not sworn in.

If what PiS is doing is for the good of the nation then why are they subverting the rule of law?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #5
appointed illegally

I don't know why I should be explaining all this when it's all over the news. PO-PSL had a right to appoint only those whose terms were due to expire during the PO-PSL govt's term but they illegally extended it to two judges whose terms expired under teh successor PiS govt. By rights Duda should have sworn in the three legal ones and decliend the illegal twosome but refused to swear in any of them. So both sides committed the same mistake of overstepping their competence.

subverting the rule of law

Rule of law is a nov'ble concept in theory, but in practice it is yet another trendy catch-phrase or buzzword invoked by politicians when it serves their purposes.

As Marshal (speaker) of the Sejm, on 10th April 2010 Bronisław Komorowski became interim president following the death of Lech Kaczyński, although Article 131 of the Constitution states that the it was the Constitutional Tribunal that should have entrusted him with that post. Somehow that oversight did not bother PO, Gazeta Wyborcza or Richie Petru!

Only goes to show that politicians do what is expedient and serves their political interests and fall back on those rules, regulations, laws and constitutional passages that give them an alibi. Machiavelli rules!
Harry
3 Dec 2015  #6
By rights Duda should have sworn in the three legal ones and decliend the illegal twosome but refused to swear in any of them.

He no more has the right to do that than he has the right to defraud the Polish taxpayer by claiming that flights taken for personal reasons were for parliamentary business. He should have waited for the Constitutional court to issue a ruling.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
3 Dec 2015  #7
Are they simply trying to remove any obstacle to ruling by decree?

Pretty much. The saving grace is that the provinces hold significant amounts of power, and the opposition isn't as weak as some PiS voters think it is. People are already on the streets, and the crucial thing is that it's a very non-partisan movement.

If what PiS is doing is for the good of the nation then why are they subverting the rule of law?

PiS have never respected the rule of law. By appointing a PZPR prosecutor to a leading role, it's clear that they have no real respect for law beyond the law that they themselves introduce. They behaved in exactly the same way between 2005-2007 - and like we all said, history will repeat itself as soon as Kaczyński gets near power.

As Marshal (speaker) of the Sejm, on 10th April 2010 Bronisław Komorowski became interim president following the death of Lech Kaczyński

Wrong. Article 131, paragraph 2 makes it clear.

.The Marshal of the Sejm shall, until the time of election of a new President of the Republic, temporarily discharge the duties of the President of the Republic in the following instances:

1) the death of the President of the Republic;

Therefore, it was automatic.

Article 131, Paragraph 1 -

If the President of the Republic is not in a position to inform the Marshal of the Sejm of his incapacity to discharge the duties of the office, then the Constitutional Tribunal shall, on request of the Marshal of the Sejm, determine whether or not there exists an impediment to the exercise of the office by the President of the Republic. If the Constitutional Tribunal so finds, it shall require the Marshal of the Sejm to temporarily perform the duties of the President of the Republic.

This makes it very clear that it refers to the President being incapacitated, which is not the same as death.

Just counted - from what I can see, the Constitutional Tribunal still has a majority (until the 19th December 2016) of pro-Opposition members.

Are we about to see a real constitutional crisis if the Tribunal throws out the PiS laws?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #8
never respected the rule of law.

And the PO did when they illegally appointed two extra judges back in June? Get down from your feigned moral highground, because you well know every poltical party is self-serving and uses high-sounding slogans as their fig-leaf.

You remind one of the old, illiterate toothless grandmother in "Sami swoi": "The law court is the law court but justice must be on our side." At least she was sincere. You try to cloak Realpolitik in pompus rhetoric.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
3 Dec 2015  #9
"The law court is the law court but justice must be on our side".

Why are you quoting Ziobro?

Fortunately, the Constitutional Tribunal will probably rule that 3 of the judges must be appointed and that PiS will only have 2.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #10
PiS will only have 2

So at least you admit that the judges are not impartial arbiters of constitutional law but party hacks -- PO has these and PiS has those.
jon357 63 | 14,134
3 Dec 2015  #11
Are we about to see a real constitutional crisis if the Tribunal throws out the PiS laws?

We had some of this last time they were briefly in.

More noise than anything else.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #12
pro-Opposition members

Hey toothless granny from "Sami swoi", when the PO-led govt had the Tribunal stacked with its subservient flunkies you and other "rule of law"-spouting Michnikites and Petrus were strangely silent about that miscarriage of justice.
Ironside 48 | 9,796
3 Dec 2015  #13
The PiS government has been making a steady attack on the rule of law by trying to pack the Constitutional Court (Trybunał Konstytucyjny) with PiS supporters by highly irregular means.

You sound like a reasonable guy and I no help but to wonder where form you are going all your information, not only about that issue but also implying that PiS is driven by an immature nationalism.

Alas you are simply mistaken on both counts.

Why are they doing this? Are they simply trying to remove any obstacle to ruling by decree?

They are doing these because PO in June make a mockery of the Constructional Court nominations so they are redressing the balance.
Also they lessens possibility that bills passed by the Parliament would be blocked by the CC obstruction.

How can what they're doing be justified by supporters beyond "the end justifies the means"? (

Well Kornel Morawiecki who is not PiS member said:
"Nominations in June were breaching procedures and so are nominations appointed by PiS, However the nation voted for PiS and that party should be allowed to govern, there cannot be any institutions that are allowed to impede or that renders governance by the democratically elected government impossible."

I see it differently though, it is reverse of an unlawful act of the previous parliament namely PO party committed when they realized they are going to lose an election.

Imagine if nominees to a Supreme Court would be appointed and accepted before any vacancy would have occurred, in advance so to speak.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #14
Supreme Court

Amid all the rhetoric and bluster circulating in recent days, someone suggested the tribunal was not even needed when that role could be played by the Supreme Court. I agree. Why have a costly extra body with chambers, computers, furnishings, secretaries, cars and the whole pricey shebang? Also the Sejm should be reduced to 200 MPs and the Senate to 50 and none of them should drive anything pricier than an Opel Vectra. The savings should be channelled to the needs of the nation, not to bankroll the perks of fatcats!
Harry
3 Dec 2015  #15
Imagine if nominees to a Supreme Court would be appointed and accepted before any vacancy would have occurred, in advance so to speak.

Did you not read the bit in 4A Poisonious3's post where he wrote that the 5th PIS stooge will be sworn in within a few days, i.e. after her predecessor's term in office expires, meaning that she has been appointed and accepted before any vacancy has occurred?

this is not a diminutive form of a members username, it's derogatory. Please refrain from using it in future.
Ironside 48 | 9,796
3 Dec 2015  #16
Are we about to see a real constitutional crisis if the Tribunal throws out the PiS laws?

Well, throws that Tribunal out as a useless relict of bygone days. If they dare to be judges in their won case. nemo iudex in casua sua/

@mfsYou sound like a reasonable guy and I no help but to wonder where form you are going all your information,
Should read - you sound like a reasonable and I cannot help but to wonder where from you are getting all your info. :)
jon357 63 | 14,134
3 Dec 2015  #17
the 5th PIS stooge will be sworn in within a few days, i.e. after her predecessor's term in office expires, meaning that she has been appointed and accepted before any vacancy has occurred?

Basically a planned assault on democracy - to be expected really.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
3 Dec 2015  #18
Phew.

The Constitutional Tribunal has declared that three of the judges appointed by the previous parliament were lawfully appointed to their position (as the term of the previous judges expired during the last Sejm), while the other two were not lawfully appointed. They've also ruled that Duda was/is obliged to take their oath immediately and that any other interpretation is unlawful.

I think we can all breathe now. As far as I can count, PiS will have a maximum of 6 on the Constitutional Tribunal, ensuring that they will have to respect the Constitution for the duration of their government.
OP mafketis 20 | 7,341
3 Dec 2015  #19
They've also ruled that Duda was/is obliged to take their oath immediately and that any other interpretation is unlawful.

I wonder what Kaczyń... I mean Duda, President Duda, that's who I mean, I wonder what he'll do now.
Harry
3 Dec 2015  #20
Duda, that's who I mean, I wonder what he'll do now

Why are you wondering that? Doesn't the Polish constitution say that the president does whatever the Chairman tells him to?
gregy741 4 | 1,204
3 Dec 2015  #21
no as far as i know ,but this can be corrected :)
Ironside 48 | 9,796
3 Dec 2015  #22
wonder what Kaczyń

You are disappointing. Anyway do you really think they stated all this without a plan? They won't let it stand.
OP mafketis 20 | 7,341
3 Dec 2015  #23
It's hard to see Duda as anything but a marionette, do you have any evidence that he's his own man and would ever stand up to JK?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
3 Dec 2015  #24
I wonder what Kaczyń... I mean Duda, President Duda, that's who I mean, I wonder what he'll do now.

Not much, probably. The TK has ruined his plan, but Duda has no real choice - he's obliged to follow their ruling and swear the three PO-appointed judges in immediately. They've made it clear that he has no discretion over the matter and that he's obliged to follow the law.

As for Kaczyński, I suspect he's going to spend 4 years attacking and smearing the judges by any means possible. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if PiSTV and other media outlets start reporting unbelievable lies about the judges.
Ironside 48 | 9,796
3 Dec 2015  #25
would ever stand up to JK?

Why would he stand up to JK? Just for jollies? I guess they talk over their differences in tactic instead of flaunting them publicly.

The TK has ruined his plan,

Doubt that, they can tell them to scoot ! and rightly so
delphiandomine 83 | 17,690
3 Dec 2015  #26
Doubt that, they can tell them to scoot ! and rightly so

Bloody hell.

No, they really can't. What kind of person are you to even suggest that the Constitutional Tribunal should just be ignored?
Ironside 48 | 9,796
3 Dec 2015  #27
well few words springs to mind like practical and wise for a start .
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
3 Dec 2015  #28
maximum of 6

Meaning that the rest will be Platformerian stooges. And PO had such stooges during their regime's heyday but wish to deny that to their successors. Biased toothless old granny, anyone?!
Harry
3 Dec 2015  #29
And PO had such stooges during their regime's heyday

During the PO-PSL governments PO/PSL had to deal with PIS placemen who had been appointed purely because they were loyal to The Dear Leader Chairman Kaczynski.

Does the same thing happen in your country?
Borsukrates
3 Dec 2015  #30
This is not a problem with law!! It's a problem with rational and critical thinking!! PiS isn't talking in terms of wise and stupid - it's talking in terms of what's right and wrong. Catholic Church, an old favourite of Polish nationalists, admired by PiS, pushes that to the extreme.

Disrespect for law is simply a direct consequence of irrationality. One of consequences.

In related news, today after midnight president Duda swore in the new judges of the Constitutional Court. Andrzej Dera, a spokesman of Presidantial Chancellery, said this was done in order to preserve the continuity of the Court's work. That's nice of them.

Duda was in hurry to do this, because later today Consitutional Court announced its verdict about appointing constitutional judges. He had to make it before the court settled the matters. It ruled that both PO's and PiS's acts were unconstitutional. It also ruled that swearing in judges of Constitutional Court is president's duty, not an approval process (nothing in the Constitution mentions swearing in judges of the Constitutional Court). Why has it took TK so long to rule about PO's manipulation of TK ? Because PiS retracted its complaint as soon as they realized they have a majority in Sejm. Why bother with Constitutional Court, or Constitution itself, if you have the majority in parliament ?

When Duda paroled Mariusz Kamiński, charged with abuse of power, he said it was to save good image of justice and to cut the (Gordian) knot. Supposedly he wanted people to stop arguing - so why is he fanning the flames now ?

The cynical man needs to understand Jarosław Kaczyński can't recall a president from post - but voters can. First term is a campaign for the second term.

Make peace not PiS!


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